interview questions to ask

Stand Out By Asking These Questions During Your On-Site Interview

Interview Your Potential Employer with these Questions

“So, do you have any questions for me?” asks the interviewer at your dream job or employer. Most interviews these days end with this softball question. The answer should always be an emphatic “Yes, I’m glad you asked.” Here are ten questions for the interviewer to determine if the role is right for you.

The next opportunity you take shouldn’t just be measured by the increase in your paycheck. To make sure you’re making a positive career move, you need to consider the team, growth opportunity, and company mission. The “do you have any questions for me” portion of the interview is your best shot to do it.

Before you go on-site, the recruiter will give you a list of people you’ll be interviewing with (if they don’t, ask for it!). Take time to look each person up and get a sense of their background.

You may have things in common, and a little rapport can go a long way. As you research each individual, be mindful of which one is best served to answer the various questions you have about the company and the role.  

“But I haven’t found any cool companies I want to interview with!” No? Head here to get crackin’.

To complete your interview question list, use these 10 questions to prove you’re interested in succeeding and a thoughtful decision-maker.

Questions for the Employer Interviewer about the Role

1. What are the hardest parts of the job?

You’ll want to gain insights around whether there are roadblocks you’re signing up for if you do take the gig. If there are, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As a candidate you just want to make sure you’re not blindsided after accepting the role. If individual contributors point out these challenges early in the process, you’ll have an opportunity to ask the team lead or other management how they intend to help you clear those roadblocks.

2. How does this role contribute to business goals?

Whether you’re interviewing for an IC or manager role, you’ll want to understand how your performance will be measured. Will it be tied to historical metrics, or will they shift depending on company benchmarks?

Ask about stakeholders who are equally invested in the metrics you will be responsible for. The answer to this question sheds light on how strategic the role is to the company, as well as how the work you do will be assessed.

3. How often does the employer conduct reviews?

Although reviews can be at times be stressful, it’s valuable to document performance. As a best practice, many companies conduct reviews twice a year, and have a 360 review process built in.

A regular performance review process means you’ll have to opportunity to calibrate on your own progression. It also gives you a channel to provide feedback on the higher-ups as well.

4. What does success in this role look like over the next six months?

How thoughtful is the company about this role? Is there a clear vision for how they will contribute, or is it a choose-your-own-adventure type deal? Are there previous examples of individuals in this role achieving success?

This question gives you some background into the potential of the role, and should you accept, will tell you exactly what you need to do to impress some folks.

Questions for the Employer Interviewer about the Company

5. Why did you decide to work here?

This question is meant to be open ended:

  • Were they focused on the opportunity to grow in an exciting role?
  • Was it the future manager’s impressive experience and character?
  • Do they feel personally invested in the company’s mission, and empowered to make a dent in the world?

The goal here is to encourage a candid response about how they assessed the company.

6. How does the company invest in the team?

If you are investing a portion of your career with this company, you want to feel like they are doing the same. One of the most effective ways of doing so, outside of career pathing, is giving you a budget/stipend for online classes, conferences, etc.

Different organizations go about this in a variety of ways. The goal for this interviewer question is determining how prepared they are to help you grow.

Pro-tip: If it’s a small company, and there is no formal policy, this is a potential area for negotiation.

Questions for the Employer Interviewer about the Team

7. Do you encourage teams to work cross functionally?

Without the right systems in place, it’s easy for people to get caught up with their own team’s goals, without looping in other teammates to ensure work is optimized and not duplicated.

No one is going to answer this question with an unequivocal “no, teams are not encouraged to work together.” Ask the interviewers for specific examples.

8. For those who don’t report into leadership, are there skip level meetings?

Skip levels are becoming an increasingly popular way to ensure leadership has visibility down the pyramid and employees have an opportunity to share ideas and feedback with key decision makers.

Ideally, you have a skip level once a month or once a quarter, so suss out if this is a practice the organization is keen on.

Use the Onsite Interview Wisely with These Employer Questions

By the time you’ve reached the on-site interview portion, you’ve shown your strengths align with the company’s needs. Now, it’s your turn to see if the company’s strengths are aligned with your needs.

Whatever it is you’re curious about, make sure you take full advantage of this part of the interview process. You won’t have any better time to assess at a meaningful, personal level whether the role is for you.

Finally, for extra credit, here’s a bunch more questions you can consider throwing in.

  • Is this a new role, or have you hired for it before?
  • What made you realize you needed to create this role?
  • What happened with the last person in this role?
  • Do you have any doubts about my qualifications for the role?
  • How does hiring for this role help you in your day-to-day?

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Updated 11-10-21